offline files indicator and shortcut indicator

Discussion in 'Windows Vista General Discussion' started by Robert Premuž, Jul 6, 2007.

  1. Hi!

    If the offline files feature is enabled in Windows XP, Windows Explorer
    puts a two-blue-arrows mark on icons of the files that are available
    offline. The mark is placed in the left bottom corner of the icon.
    (The two-blue-arrows overlay is contained in

    On the other hand shortcuts are marked in Windows Explorer with a
    shortcut-arrow mark, also in the left bottom corner of the icon.
    (The shortcut-arrow overlay is contained in

    If you have a shortcut that is available offline, the two-blue-arrows
    mark is shown on the icon while the shortcut-arrow mark is not shown.
    So you have to look at the file properties to check if the icon is a
    shortcut actually.

    Does it work the same way in Windows Vista?

    While investigating this issue, I tried this:
    1. I created a custom icon file (shortcut.ico) that contains the
    shortcut-arrow on the right bottom corner of a transparent background.
    2. Using the Tweak UI from PowerToys for Windows XP I applied my
    shortcut.ico as the shortcut overlay for Explorer and the shortcuts
    became marked with the shortcut-arrow on the RIGHT bottom corner of
    the icon.
    3. But when a shortcut was also made available offline, only the
    two-blue-arrows mark was shown (in the left bottom corner of the

    So my conclusion is that Windows Explorer in Windows XP can show only
    one overlay on an icon. What about Windows Vista?

    I find this issue important in corporate environments for laptop users
    where the My Documents and Desktop folders are redirected to network
    folders but they are also available offline. In that case users cannot
    easily recognize if an icon is a shortcut or a plain file/folder.

    -- rpr. /Robert Premuz/
    Robert Premuž, Jul 6, 2007
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  2. I've found a tweak explained on
    that forces Windows Explorer to show the file name extension (.lnk)
    for shortcuts:
    in registry key "HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\lnkfile" remove the value named
    NeverShowExt and restart Windows (this also applies for some other
    file types).

    If you have offline files enabled, this can be useful for recognizing

    I enabled this, but then realized that Windows Explorer has another
    "smart" feature:
    If you try to rename a shortcut (e.g. public.lnk) and you do not put
    the .lnk extension at the end of the new name, Windows Explorer
    doesn't warn you about changing the file name extension.

    If you do the same for a plain text file (e.g. test.txt), you get a
    "If you change a file name extension, the file may become unusable.
    Are you sure you want to change it?"

    Is that any better in Windows Vista?

    -- rpr. /Robert Premuz/
    Robert Premuž, Jul 10, 2007
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